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Consumers deceived by hidden GE ingredients

Consumers deceived by hidden GE ingredients

GE Free NZ ( in food and environment) want all foods sourced from GE organisms to be labelled as such. At the moment producers are not required to label foods sourced from GE products if they contain less than 1% of a GE product or any fresh un-packaged foods and all food sold at "point of preparation" like bakeries and cafes.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) has said that no research into possible links of GE foods to food borne illness is to be researched, despite the rise in such illnesses coinciding with the spread of GE foods in the US.

Claire Bleakley from GE Free (food and environment) asks “ Which body will ensure that tests are done in this area? Viral fragments from the GE food have been shown to persist through the small intestine and possibly recombine in the gut. This could cause food borne illness in susceptible people and needs to be fully assessed. Who is doing that?” A report to the Scottish parliament (2002) on GE was very concerned about the lack of health studies, particularly those looking at the sick and those people who have digestive system problems eg. leaky gut syndrome. Two important papers were published in The Lancet. The first on “Flavr Savr” GM tomatoes fed to rats, where several of the rats developed erosions (early ulcers) of the lining of the stomach similar to the erosions seen in stomach of older humans on aspirin or similar medication. In humans life threatening haemorrhaging may occur as a result of early ulcers.

The second paper concerned the feeding of raw GM potatoes to male mice one month old. The results revealed proliferate growth in the lower small bowel (stomach and upper small bowel were not examined) measured as mean perimeter of each cell (Fares and El-Sayed, 1998, Natural Toxins 6, 219-233) (1). Suggestions that GE crops are just the same as any other plant are simply untrue. No viral, bacterial or mammalian DNA found in present day GE crops resulting from the process of genetic transformation could have been introduced into the plant genome by natural means or traditional cross-breeding. GM-food contains genes and their products which may never have been eaten before and whose effects on health and metabolism of mammals are unknown, unpredictable and untested. (2) Claire Bleakley said ‘New diseases may become more virulent due to the uptake of naked genes in GE foods. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority should be looking to support and reassure their consumers that the food they are overseeing is safe by conducting proper safety studies”.

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